Dixons Carphone gets off the mark with Sprint tie-up in USComments Off on Dixons Carphone gets off the mark with Sprint tie-up in US
It has struck a deal with Sprint, the third-largest mobile phones operator in the United States, which could see them open up to 500 stores together over the next few years.
In an initial trial, the two will open some 20 stores in and around Miami and Chicago.
If those prove successful Dixons will invest $32 million for a 50% stake in the venture, which will then roll out across the States with up to 500 stores.
Deputy chief executive Andrew Harrison said: “This is a very exciting venture for us, and is a significant step in growing our Carphone business in the US.
“We bring specialist knowledge and skills to this partnership and will be looking to deliver innovation and outstanding customer service under the Sprint brand.”
It is understood the US venture will not involve many Carphone staff directly and will be headed by Carphone’s UK boss Graham Stapleton.
Dixons Carphone also operates the Currys PC World chain
The aim is to bring Carphone’s customer services skills such as helping people choose the right handsets and tariffs to Sprint’s near-60 million customers.
Marcelo Claure, chief executive of Sprint, said: “We are excited to partner with Dixons Carphone and to leverage all their know-how as one of the world’s leading wireless retailers to benefit Sprint and its customers.
“We are committed to offering the best customer experience when buying wireless products and services.”
Dixons and Carphone have had very different experiences with their previous Stateside ventures before they came together.
Dixons had a spectacular failure with Silo, a US electrical retailer, which it bought in 1987 but sold off in 1993 after racking up hundreds of millions of dollars of losses.
Carphone had two separate relationships with BestBuy, the US retailer.
In the first case Carphone ran BestBuy’s mobile outlets in the US and in the second the US retailer took a 50% stake in Carphone in an attempt to roll out its warehouse model of electrical retailing across Europe.
The first went well but the second was deemed a failure, particularly in the UK. But Carphone walked away from the two ventures with around £1 billion.